The first man ever to give his life for Christ! Even though walking around Jerusalem, Jesus and the apostles kind of steal the spotlight (understandably), I was convinced to find the place.
'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' Then he knelt down and said aloud, 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them.' And with these words he fell asleep. (Acts 7:59-60)
Walking into the little Orthodox Church outside the walls of the city, it's simple, even bare - a concrete floor with some icons in the back, and an Orthodox monk that must sit there all day.
But that's Stephen - simple, stark but intense faith. He was a man convinced, a believer willing to profess, and a martyr willing to lay down his life.
Stephen's own words sometimes seem to make him a pushover saint - can't do anything except turn the other cheek. But that's not true.
Barely chosen a deacon, and they're already out to get Stephen. From the start he's on fire - working miracles and signs: bringing people to the new faith in Christ, fearlessly fulfilling the mission.
The Sanhedrin is determined to stop him, and they have to accuse him of something. Blasphemy it will be. Sound familiar, Christ was accused of the same thing. He responds by explaining all of salvation history starting from the Old Testament.
They won't take any of it, and drag him out to stone him to death. But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God's right hand. 'Look! I can see heaven thrown open,' he said, 'and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God' (Acts 7:55-56).